One of the most enjoyable activities in the summer is swimming, whether in the backyard pool, at a recreational center or during a trip to the beach. Unfortunately, fun can quickly turn into tragedy if there is a drowning or other accident. Yet many of these accidents could be avoided.
Similar to the idea of a designated driver—someone who is responsible for ensuring the safety of others who are drinking—the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends a designated “water watcher” to prevent drowning deaths.
According to the CPSC, 73 percent of drowning injuries and fatalities involving children 13 and younger occur at a residence. Most (59 percent) happen in in-ground pools, followed by above-ground pools (15 percent). Nine percent occur in portable pools, which tend to be easier to access as small children can climb over the soft sides of the pool.
Liability for a Drowning Injury or Death
When a swimming pool accident occurs on someone else’s property, victims or their families may hold the owner liable. This depends on the circumstances. Let’s say a neighbor with a pool had taken no safety precautions to prevent small children from accessing it, which could include a fence or pool cover. If a child were to enter the property and drown, the owner could be liable.
Another type of liability is when someone is responsible for the child’s care. An example would be a babysitter who takes the child to a public pool and fails to properly supervise him or her. If the child is injured, the babysitter may be liable.
Not all accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. But in order to file a claim, claimants need to prove that someone’s careless or reckless actions caused the drowning accident. To learn more about your rights, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates today.